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Otago Farmers Market Mobile Kitchen Menu – 31/01/2015

 

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This is my first day back in the mobile kitchen for many weeks and boy i’m excited.  Summer produce is in abundance and full of sweet summer flavours.  Menu this week is focusing on simple summer veges and of course, sun-ripened sweet Central stone fruit.

I will be demonstrating some simple dishes with simple but valuable techniques which are always good to have up your sleeve. Even though for many we are now back on duty of not only working but school runs, after school runs and of course the lunch boxes.. I find great ideas by walking around the market and getting little lunch box fillers such as salami sticks, cheese, school lunch sized fruit, good quality jams, relishes, obviously fresh vegetables that aren’t covered in sprays and you can even get packets of biscuits, bagels and sweet treats to make it through the week.

I am in the kitchen if you need some inspiration and some tips on what to put on your menu this week and of course as always I will have lots of market food to sample.

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WET POLENTA, ROASTED VINE TOMATOES, SMASHED BASIL

polenta

This dish works well throughout the year at the café as I simple change the sweet tomatoes for mushrooms, wilted greens or even alongside a hearty stew.

Serves 4

ingredients

12 cherry vine tomatoes (if possible get them still attached to the vine)

4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly

4 sprigs fresh thyme

Pinch sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper

2 Tbsp olive oil

Polenta

375ml water

100g polenta

25g unsalted butter

30g parmesan cheese, freshly grated and more for serving

Smashed basil

1 cup fresh basil leaves

Pinch salt

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method

Preheat oven to 200C

Place the tomatoes onto a suitable sized oven dish, scatter over the garlic slivers and thyme. Drizzle over the oil and season lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Roast in the hot oven until the tomatoes blister and just start to split (8-10 minutes). Remove immediately from the oven and set aside.

To make the polenta, bring the water to a simmer, add a generous pinch of salt, whisk in the polenta and cook, stirring, on a low heat for 10 minutes or until the polenta comes away from the sides of the pan. Add the butter and cheese and stir vigorously.

In between stirring the polenta smash the basil by adding a pinch of salt and mashing it in a mortar and pestle until you get a coarse paste, stir in 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Set aside.

To serve place a generous spoonful of the polenta onto a warm plate, place 4 roasted cherry tomatoes on top and any delicious juices, drizzle over the smashed basil and finish with plenty of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

BEETROOT AND QUNIOA SALAD

beetroot -Wairuna

Salads like these are great throughout the year as they are not only nutritious, they are very filling. Feel free to change the grains, leaves etc to make this your own.

Serves 4

ingredients

500g beetroot

280g qunioa

600ml vegetable stock

75g pumpkin seeds

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

4 tablespoons olive oil

½ red onion, sliced thinly

Handful flatleaf parsley

50g rocket leaves

Method

Wash the beetroot gently. Place in a pan of salted water, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 45 minutes until tender. Cool slightly, peel and chop into 2cm pieces.

Bring the vegetable stock to the boil, add the quinoa and cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender but not soggy. Drain and fluff up with fork. Leave to cool.

Dry-fry the pumpkin seeds until golden.

Cool and add to the quinoa, add the red wine vinegar and oil to the quinoa.

Mix in the sliced red onion, rocket, flat leaf parsley and beetroot, season with salt and pepper.

 

QUICK PICKLED RED ONIONS OR CUCUMBERS

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Pickles are a fantastic way of adding a bit of zing to any dish and these onions will surely do that!

Serves 4 3/4 cup (180ml) white or cider vinegar

3 Tbsp sugar

4 black peppercorns

pinch of salt

1 bay leaf

1 tsp freshly chopped dill

1 -2 fresh chillies

2 large red onions, peeled, and thinly sliced into rings

Or 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
Method In a small, non-reactive saucepan, heat the vinegar, sugar, salt and seasonings and bring to the boil. Pierce the whole chilli a few times with a fork and add to the vinegar mixture. Add the onion slices and lower the heat, then simmer gently for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Transfer the onions and the liquid into a sterilised jar then refrigerate until ready to use. Storage: The onions will keep for several months, but I find they’re best the week they’re made.

 

TZATZIKI

 

Makes 300ml (1 small bowl)

300 ml thick Greek yoghurt

2 cloves garlic 1 medium sized cucumber, cut in half and seeds removed

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Pinch salt

1 tsp red wine vinegar

Method

Put yoghurt into a bowl, crush garlic to a smooth paste with a little salt (mortar and pestle is good for this).

Add to the yoghurt and mix through.

Grate the cucumber and squeeze out excess liquid (the dryer the better).

Add to the yoghurt mixture along with 1 Tbsp of the olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt, taste and adjust if necessary.

Store in the fridge until required.

Serve in a small dish drizzled with the remainder oil and plenty of flatbreads, and crudities’.

 

GRILLED APRICOTS AND RICOTTA

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A simple marriage of summer flavours with the cooling ricotta and tangy citrus makes this simple dessert one of my summer favourites.

Serves 4

Ingredients

8 apricots (ripe but firm), cut in half and stone removed

250g ricotta

1 lemon, zest

1 orange. Zest

4 Tbsp raw cane or coconut sugar

Method

Heat up the barbecue or griddle pan to hot.

Finely grate the zest from the lemon and orange and mix with the sugar and allow to sit for 10 minutes to infuse.

When the barbecue is hot place the cut side of the apricots directly onto the griddle bars and allow to char (blacken) slightly and soften, about 5 minutes.

Remove the apricots and place onto a dish, sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the infused sugar over the peaches, cover with plastic wrap and let so the juices seep out of the peaches, (10-20minutes).

To assemble: place the apricots onto a large platter, add a little of the sugar. Spoon over the ricotta so that you get good dollops placed over the fruit.

Spoon over any juices from the apricots and finish by scattering over the infused sugar.

Best eaten at room temperature.

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ALISON WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE FOLLOWING VENDORS FOR THEIR OUTSTANDING PRODUCE

KAKANUI PRODUCE – tomatoes

ROSEDALE ORCHARDS – apricots

WAIKOUAITI GARDENS – cucumbers

BRYDONE ORGANICS – red onions and beetroot

JANE FIELD HYDROPONICS – basil

TE MANGHA – zucchini

GILBERTS FINE FOODS – freshly baked goods

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